Two-decade con yielded $450,000 until feds caught up to them

TWO PROVIDENCE RESIDENTS pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding the state and federal government for roughly $450,000 over a two-decade period in U.S. District Court
TWO PROVIDENCE RESIDENTS pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding the state and federal government for roughly $450,000 over a two-decade period in U.S. District Court

PROVIDENCE – U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. accepted the guilty pleas of a Rhode Island couple for defrauding the U.S. government of roughly $450,000.

Lens Chappell, aka Carter Jefferson, 71, and his wife Mulin Alexandre, aka Kesa Pittman and Kesa Jefferson, 40, of Providence pleaded guilty for participating in a scheme to fraudulently obtain state Medicaid payments, as well as federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Health and Human Services and Social Security benefits as far back to at least 1998.

Documents presented by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island showed that Lens Chappell, beginning in 1998, took a relative’s identity, which he then used, along with a stolen identity for his wife to obtain government documents, including a passport, that allowed Alexandre to enter the United States from her native Haiti. These fraudulent identities then facilitated their defrauding the government.

U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman thanked the offices of the Rhode Island Attorney General and the Department of Human Services for their assistance in the investigation. Chappell and Alexandre will be sentenced Dec. 4.

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